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Fogo de chao? Your opinions please!

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Has anyone eaten at Fogo de Chao? Newly opened in Philly with locations in USA and Brazil. Please provide me with your comments. Thank you!

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  1. Never ate at Fogo but have eaten at Texas de Brazil multiple times. I hear they are comparable from others on this board. I think they serve quite a good product with an excellent salad bar. My only beef is with how much they salt there cuts of meat,,,,,,,,seems a little excessive at times, but overall pretty good assuming they are comparable. Plus if your kids are 5 or under they eat free which saves a few bucks. Most women will never get their moneys worth as it runs about 42 bucks a head, unless of course she is Latin then she knows how to eat, but beware it's more of a guys place to Graze. Down here in Orlando I know the college kids love it.

    1. I was to the one in Atlanta and I thought it was one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. That's my favorite way to prepare food, and I thought it was done perfectly.

      1. I went to the DC locale.

        I found the meats over seasoned. Your tongue was assaulted. The quality of the meat was mid-high to high. The waitstaff was very friendly, willing to teach what each dish was, and respected the "red-green" symbol.

        The salad bar was enormous, but i was there as a carnivore and did not want to fill up on green stuff. Others have raved about the bar.

        I probably ate 24-32 oz of different meats and poultry. If you see something on the menu that has not been around, just ask the server and he will bring it.

        It's pretty pricey, and a lot of fun.

        1. I haven't been to either, but there is also a non-chain rodizio spot in the northeast that is not upscale but also cheaper (~$25 on weekends, less on weekdays). It's called Picanha...here's the writeup last year from Philly Weekly: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/vie...

          If you go to either...let us know what you think!

          1. As a Brazilian I've been to a lot of Rodizio chains, both in NYC and Brazil. I find Fogo de Chao's salad bar mediocre, but the quality of the meat a bit higher (althoug slightly over seasoned at times).

            If you're ever in NYC, I've found Plataforma to be the best outside of Brazil.

            1. i have never been to another brazillian steakhouse - so i don't know how it compares to that but. . .

              i thought it was GREAT. it was way too much food - i always eat too much at all you can eat places. the lamb chops were excellent. all the meat was hot and cooked well. i liked the filet as well. the salad bar was good - but i tried not to eat too much of that as i wanted to fill up on meat

              i didn't like any of the sides they served with dinner.

              1. I've been to Fogo de Chao in Beverly Hills and I thought it was decent - and I'm not a huge fan of meat, either. Some meats were better than others but I think once in a lifetime was enough for me.

                However, I do miss their delicious cheese bread (pao de queijo).

                3 Replies
                1. re: AlwayzHungry

                  As an aside, you can get pao de queijo at Bossa Nova on Beverly Drive (the location on Robertson always seems to run out).

                  I've been wanting to try a Riodizio for years, and now that I'm pregnant and expect to have a large appetite, I figure now is the perfect time to go to Fogo de chao.

                  1. re: Amuse Bouches

                    I like Bossa Nova's bread basket. Guess I'll have to try their pao de queijo next time!

                    1. re: Amuse Bouches

                      Amuse_ that is an Excellent idea. When I was pregnant I could not get enough beef!
                      Wait til your 8th month of pregnancy and eat eat eat!

                  2. Been to the Dallas(DFW) location twice. Been to 2 other Rodizio (even if they called themselves Churrascerias) types, and Fogo compares favorably. As everyone has stated, some cuts are slightly over seasoned, but the quality is high - soft, tender, well marbled, and all meats cooked between rmr and medium. They did well done on request.

                    I actually really enjoy the salad bar - pickled white asparagus being my favorite. My first visit was as much meat as we could consume... ended up feeling quite sick. The second time, i ate a more balanced meal, enjoying 2 serves from the salad bar, and only about 30oz of meat. The end result was a much more pleasant experience.

                    There are some cuts i didnt enjoy - when they first come around, my recommendation is to have the table share the one serve (rather than everyone getting it). That way, you can determine which cuts you like without filling up.

                    Lastly, i second the pao de queijo nomination. They are amazing. A serving comes to your table, right after drinks are ordered, before they bring you meat, hoping that you fill up on starch a bit. If they had a 20 dollar option for pao de queijo and salad bar only, i would eat there more often :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: yen

                      They do -- or at least, the Philly location does. I ate there tonight for dinner, and paid $19.50 for the salad bar only option, which also included the sides that are served at the table -- pao de queijo, polenta squares (which were excellent), mashed potatoes, and bananas. I was really impressed with the variety and quality of the food on the salad bar, and managed to save enough room for their papaya cream dessert (which was lovely). My only complaint is the high mark-up for their wines.

                    2. Atlanta location was great. Have been three times.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: tomself

                        I too have been to the Buckhead site. I don't know if I could survive going there 3 times! LoL! There is *sooo* much food, all good, I don't think I ever ate more in one meal in my life!

                        1. re: tomself

                          A large group of friends who meet every year in Atlanta at a Convention have made a tradition out of that Fogo de Chao. We have always had a good time (I think its a great place to go with a diverse group...there is usually something for everybody..). We always consume an excess of both meat AND wine. FWIW, one year we went to a local knock-off that was downtown (I forget the name), on the theory that it was walking distance from our hotel. We didn't like it nearly as well as the Buckhead Fogo, and decided that for all future trips it was worth the taxi fare to go there.....

                        2. I think Fogo can be pretty great for that special occassion when you feel like gorging yourself on meat and salad. Yes, they might just have the world's greatest salad bar. An amazing array of fresh vegetables, cheeses, and many other goodies is somehow kept in perfect condition throughout every meal even when there are hordes of hungry Texans doing their best to mess it up.

                          An endless supply of three appetizers is also included with the meal: delicious fried bananas, some sort of gooey-fried doughy bread chunks, and mashed potatoes. If you make it half way through any of these appetizers, they will be promptly whisked away and replaced with a fresh version of the same dish.

                          Little cards are placed next to each diner's plate. When you are ready for meat, you flip the card over so that the green side is face up. Within a minute you will have a line of waiters offering you cuts of various meats straight from the skewers they were cooked on. They claim to have about 13 different types of meat, so you can take your pick of which ones suit you.

                          Now, some of the meats are very tasty, but I wouldn't say any of them were amazing. The reason you go to Fogo is for the whole experience, and you better be prepared to eat. The meal costs about $55 or so for dinner and $28 for lunch. Lunch and dinner are almost the same setup so I would advise saving a couple of bucks by going for lunch.

                          Of the two locations, Houston was a bit better than the Beverly Hills location. Beverly Hills ' salad bar didn't quite live up to the size of the one in Houston.

                          1. Fogo de Chao has a website with pictures of some of the different types of meats they serve. You can find it here: http://www.fogodechao.com/dining.htm

                            I don't know about the other locations, but at the Beverly Hills location the fried plantains were cold.

                            1. I have really enjoyed myself at Fogo de Chão in Buckhead (Atlanta area.) Wonderful. I haven't been to other locations, but definitely would go back to that one!

                              1. I've had dinner at the one in Houston. I'm amazed at the huge portions they serve. No wonder why Ameican's are so overweight! It was good, but I just can't eat that much.
                                What's the deal with everyone complaining about the prices? You get what you pay for.

                                1. I've been to the one in Beverly Hills 3 or 4 times now. Basically, each person can order one of two things - the AYCE salad bar, or the AYCE salad bar + meat. You get AYCE apetizers too (fried plantains, polenta, cheese bread puffs, and mashed potatos), but I think only if you get the meat. They have about 6-8 cuts of beef, and maybe 5 or so other cuts of various meets (chicken, pork, and I think lamb?). All of the meat is brought to your table on skewers and hand carved by the waiters. They provide you with small meat tongs so that you can pull the meat onto your plate after they've carved it.

                                  The good
                                  ------------
                                  Its All You Can Eat

                                  Very nice decor

                                  Salad bar is great - all fresh and high quality, even for a salad bar at a nice restaraunt.
                                  Perhaps somewhat lacking in some more traditional salad bar items

                                  The meats are mostly very good - as others have noted a few of the meats have a little too much seasoning but overall very good

                                  The appetizers are all great - the cheese bread is addictive, the plantains are excellent, and the polenta is to die for

                                  The waiters are all friendly and helpful, and the little red green discs are honored - I swear every time I've been there, a waiter has had meat at my table within 10 seconds of the first person turning their disc over to the 'green' side.

                                  The Bad
                                  ----------
                                  Price And Value - Its pretty pricey, about $28 pp for salad bar only, $50 or so for meat too. Its hard to eat enough food in one sitting to really get your money's worth. IMHO, its good enough that on an occasional special occasion, I don't mind not getting my money's worth.

                                  Its All You Can Eat - it takes a lot of self control to leave this place without feeling completely overstuffed. At most AYCE places, I can exercise self control - at Fogo, the food is really good, and there's so much variety, its hard to stop, especially when you think about the price you're paying, you want to cram in as much as possible.

                                  Variety dilutes the value - I always felt like the purpose of the salad bar and the apetizers at this place is to fill you up with items that cost the restaraunt less than the meat. If you order the meat, you're still paying for all the other stuff too, but the only way you're really going to come closse to maximizing the value is by eating only meat.

                                  1. have been to the ATL location more than a few times....my suggestion is to have a designated driver. Everytime I have been, i have sat in the car afterwards in a meat-induced stupor thinking "Oh my God, I think I ate a cow"

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: wabbitslayer

                                      We are BIG Fogo fans at our house. But, we're also big carnivore types, so it is just the kind of place for us.

                                      Here are my thoughts -

                                      To call their salad bar a salad bar is a tremendous understatement. Few salad bars include the level of quality fo fresh meats, cheeses, and veggies that you will find on a Fogo salad bar. But, if you are really there for the meat, you want to take it easy here.

                                      The key to enjoying this experience is to go easy on your first round of meats to try everything and find out what you really like. Then, you want to stick with just those meats for future visits. This way, you get to enjoy all the meats that you like the best without feeling so overly full when you leave.

                                      I have a total weakness for their cheese rolls, but try to go easy because I don't want to give too much stomach space to the bread.

                                      If you want to enjoy the experience for cheaper, go at lunch. The DC location offers the same exact meal at lunch during the week for nearly have the price at $27.00 pp (I think). This is well worth it, but don't count on getting much done the rest of the day due to a food-induced coma!

                                    2. I write this in a meat induced quasi coma.
                                      Im 6'2 230 lbs meat and potatoes guy. I have always wanted to go to
                                      a Churrascaria and today Saturday, my 45th birthday thats just what I did!
                                      With great anticipation arrived at Fogo De Chao in Beverly Hills, Calif.
                                      Of course it was at full capacity and hopping with activity. No intimate dinners here, but thats not why you go here anyway right? With a plan to try and make dinner last 2 hours in a mini Brazilian way........... I eased into it.
                                      After a great experience at the fine salad bar the main event began!
                                      I tried 1 serving of everything. Each sample was terriffic. The side dishes did not seem like anything special however. The mashed potatoes were blended and unimpressive. The Polenta was fine but I dont have any references to gauge it.
                                      The meats were all very good. The service was efficient but dont expect any small talk.
                                      way too busy for that. Finally near the end of the last samples that SALT begins catching up with you on the back of your tounge and I just couldnt eat any more.
                                      That was fine as I was full by then anyway, but brother was every meat sample SALTY.
                                      A side note. It was clear by the amount of water consumed at my table and the ever flowing pitchers of water at the surrounding tables that its all part of the experience.
                                      A great time and fine meal for a special occasion. I dont think I would want to do it too often though.
                                      C.B

                                      Post note: Im sure that the food was the freshest but
                                      I guess my body is not accustomed to that much meat and salt, as it had its effects. "if ya know what I mean" lol

                                      1. We went to the one in Chicago- we also invited our friends who live there and have never been (or even heard about it!). We all loved it! One of their daughters is a vegetarian, but was super happy with the salad bar. South American wine selection was also good, can't remember what we drank , though :))) I found out about this place from one of the inflight magazines on my way to Europe last year, and just had to go - we all love a good piece of meat! I hope they open one in SF one day....

                                        1. Kid pricing not so kid friendly. We dined at FOGO-Chicago tonight. Everything was fine until the bill hit. We were a party of 8 including two kids 11 and under. We were charged 8 adult meals + 4 half meals. My husband and I raise hockey players so the pricing changed from the beginning of the meal discussion with the waiters and the post meal. We were told after dinner that billing doesnt actually work based on age but rather the size of the person. They sent 3 different people over with three different age and pricing policies. Hmm what about the 400# man sitting across from us or the 100# woman at the other table. Ridiculous argument. My son weighed 100#'s and is 57 inches tall at age 9. Guess I should have brought his birth certificate.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: slfasano

                                            I don't understand
                                            Regatdless of price, it sounds as though you were charged for too many meals.
                                            Were you 8 Diners INCLUDING 2 kids under 11 or 8 adults PLUS 2 kids under 11?
                                            Meaning were there 10 people dining in total? And why would you be charged for 4 half priced meals if you only had 2 kids with you?.... Makes no sense ...
                                            As for the restaurant's policy RE:Kid's meal pricing. It should be clearly stated on the menu. If it's not, and you got nowhere with the Mgr, you should absloutely contact the corporate offices. They are a national chain, not some Mom and Pop.
                                            They cannot "make it up as they go along "
                                            As for the charges: Many restaurants have an age cut off anywhere from 6- 12,
                                            so you ahould have been covered. I know you were joking about the birth certificate, but if he's already this size at age 9, this might come up again so you really might want to consider carrying proof of his age.